Hearts first half treble sink Liberty beyond recovery
Accra, May 23, GNA - Three first half goals by Accra Hearts of Oak within 32 minutes sunk Liberty Professionals beyond recovery as they were beaten 3-0 in the opening match of this year's Kinapharma Premier league at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.
Liberty kicked off as the aggressors and gave Hearts some uneasy scary moments in the Hearts penalty box just under one minute. The reply of the Phobians was immediate when in the second minute they stunned Liberty with the opening goal after Ablade Morgan ghosted past static defender Stanley Afedzi to tap in Lawrence Adjei's cross into the net.
Liberty remained undaunted by the early set back and came close to equalising in the third minute but with the goalkeeper Sammy Adjei at his mercy, Michael Helegbe failed to connect home Eric Baffoe's cross. Liberty still remained in the driving seat with some intelligent runs on the wings, which exposed the Hearts defence from time to time but were not able to do what mattered most on the day, by just putting the ball into the net.
The Phobians' defence who had some difficulty dealing with the fast Liberty attackers resorted to bullying tackles to keep them at bay and in the process, Kwabena Boafo earned the first caution in the 15th minute.
Hearts against the run of play were on hand again to doubled their lead in the 24th minute with beautiful quick interchange of passes between Louis Agyeman and Emmanuel Osei Kuffour that left the latter unmarked to place the ball beyond the reach of Kotei Blankson in the post.
With their tails up, Hearts took control of the game dominating from the middle where Adjah Tetteh and Francis Bossman played very well. It came as no surprise when Kuffour added his second and Hearts third in the 32nd minute, when he ballooned a loose ball into the roof of the net after a goalmouth melee.
Deep into first half injury time, player of the moment for Hearts, Louis Agyeman nearly crowned his good day's work when his volley from about 20 metres shaved off the top of the posts. The second half, which was slower than the first, saw the Phobians dominating the midfield but could not find the net as they did in the first half.
The closest Hearts came to scoring was in the 55th minute when Kuffour's header from a well timed cross by Eric Nyarko went over the bar.
Liberty's moment came in the 70th minute when Berko's goal was controversially ruled offside by referee Atikese from Koforidua for offside positioning.
Although both teams made some substitutions, none could add to the score line.